The Winter Classic didn’t go according to plan for the Bruins, not in the least. Welcoming your fans to come and watch a game out in the cold at Gillette Stadium on national television, there are expectations with that. At the bear minimum, just don’t get embarrassed in the NHL’s crown jewel, the Winter Classic. The Bruins went and lost and a lot of people would say they got embarrassed as well. Anytime you lose by more than 3 goals, I’d have to say it’s an embarrassment for the hosts. The loss on New Year’s was magnified due to the game being at Gillette Stadium at the Winter Classic. Their opponents that day, the Montreal Canadiens, were stumbling and crumbling then, a skid that saw their strong start vanish. The Bruins couldn’t handle the Habs, and fell to a 5-1 final. Boston came back and dropped a 3-2 decision to the Capitals the following game. The Capitals are smashing anything in their path, so nothing to be ashamed about there.
The New Jersey Devils are recent victims of the Montreal Canadiens as well. The Devils last time on the ice they fell to the Habs 2-1 on the road in Montreal. New Jersey will try and get back on track against their rival tonight at home. The Devils enter tonight with a respectable record of 20-16-1-4. Throw a goal scorer on this roster and the Devils would be a very dangerous team. The defense has always been present, but the lack of a playmaker has hindered them severely.
The Devils will have to go longer than expected without their main centerpiece on offense, Mike Cammarelli. Cammarelli was responsible for 21 goals and 14 assists before going down, and the prospects aren’t looking good for him the rest of the season. Cammarelli was recently placed on the IR, with no timetable available for his return. It is looking like he will be gone for a considerable amount of time. That’s a shame for the Devils, who were just starting to come on this season. Without Cammerelli the offense is extremely limited. We will see how they do tonight against Rask without him. Let’s get to the pick.
Boston Bruins vs. New Jersey Devils NHL Pick
The Devils have scored only 2.24 goals per game this season, and that was with Cammaerelli in the lineup, their leading goal scorer. That puts them at 28th in the NHL in goals per game. Since Cammarelli had to sit, the Devils have averaged only 1 goal per game. In regulation they have scored only 3 goals their last three games. In their last two the Devils managed to score 1 goal. I suspect that this season is going to turn sour without their leading goal getter in the lineup. Beyond Cammarelli, the Devils have little to no options on offense. Some goals will come, but are they going to be enough?
The question for tonight is if the offense will wake up to play the Bruins. Note that the Bruins have lost a couple in a row themselves, they haven’t exactly been singing a cheery tune. The Bruins, however, have been able to score the puck with consistency. Boston is 3rd in the NHL, scoring 3.05 goals per game. They are 19th defensively, but have improved since the start of the season. Although, still a long way away from the years prior to the 2015-16 season. Against this offense though, Rask should be able to play a solid game. I don’t know how the Devils are going to find enough offense moving deeper into the season. Adam Henrique will have to grow up real quick for that not to happen. The only piece of offense the Devils hold. It may not be long before we see them drop from 20-16-1-4 to a .500 record. I like the Bruins tonight at a cheap price.
PICK: BRUINS TO WIN -115